The grapes of Rath — self-published sci-fi author tops ebook gift list

A self-published science fiction author had the most gifted Kindle book during the holiday season — Rath’s Deception by Piers Platt.

The book is the first title in Platt’s Janus Group series. He initially sent his manuscript to several agents but got no takers before deciding to self-publish.

The top book borrowed through Kindle Unlimited in 2015 was No Ordinary Billionaire by J S Scott, who originally self-published her very popular novels before signing up with Amazon’s Montlake Romance imprint.

It’s unusual for Amazon to get specific with numbers but it has revealed that over three million new members worldwide joined its Prime service in just one week in the lead-up to Christmas.

The third week of December saw that massive total sign up for Prime, which offers free shipping on many items and unlimited access to a huge range of films and TV series for an annual fee of $99.99, although you can take a month’s free trial.

More than 200 million items were shipped free to Prime members over the holiday period and there are now ‘tens of millions’ Amazon Prime members worldwide.

New Kindle devices also saw big business, although Amazon has drawn back on the specifics here, just saying ‘millions of devices’ were sold, doubling last year’s record.

Among Amazon devices, the new $49.99 Kindle Fire tablet was the No 1 best-selling, most gifted and most wished-for product on